Harrods will shut its doors at 7 PM (GMT) tonight. The luxury store in Knightsbridge, London, which stayed open throughout the bombing of the capital during World War II, announced today that it was closing its doors.
However, it will keep its Food Halls and pharmacy open to the public, but the rest of the Knightsbridge based iconic department store in will be closed.
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Harrods will shut it doors
“The welfare of our community of colleagues, customers and partners has been our absolute priority throughout this time of uncertainty,” managing director Michael Ward said in a statement.
“With this in mind, we have made the very difficult decision to close our doors from 7pm (1900 GMT), Friday 20th March.”
He added: “Harrods has gone through many challenges during its 170-year history.
“We continued to trade and serve our customers during World War II, and only closed for a short period of time after the car bomb attack of the 1980s.”
Three police officers and three members of the public were killed in the 1983 attack by members of the Irish Republic Army (IRA).
— Harrods (@Harrods) March 20, 2020
Businesses in the UK are all closing today
The British government has advised all its citizens to avoid any non-essential social contact or travel, particularly in London, the centre and most contaminated area of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
As Harrods will shut it doors other businesses in the UK have also shut for a limited time, Selfridges closed its flagship store on Oxford Street on Wednesday and Honda will close its Swindon manufacturing plant from the end of Wednesday until at least April 6 to protect staff and because of supply problems caused by the outbreak.
Other car manufacturers were among the latest companies to be affected, with Toyota and BMW both suspending production at their UK factories. Toyota employs more than 3,200 people in the UK, while BMW has 6,000 manufacturing staff.
All bars and Cafes must close tonight for one Month
Harrods may have to close its cafe as well. As the Government has ordered all Cafes, pubs and restaurants must close from Friday night, except for take-away food, to tackle coronavirus, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
All the UK’s nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres have also been asked to close “as soon as they reasonably can”.
Mr Johnson said the situation will be reviewed each month.
The chancellor has said the government will pay 80% of wages for employees who are not working, up to £2,500 a month.